Eugene Lyons (1898–1985), American reporter in the USSR Sotheby's New York, Russian Works of Art, Icons, Objects of Vertu, 11 June 1985, lot 316
The present lot incorporates twelve miniature portraits of the ancestors and descendants of Natalia Alexandrovna Zubova (1775-1844), the only daughter of Field-Marshal Suvorov, and Count Nikolai Alexandrovich Zubov (1763-1805), whose marriage was arranged in 1795 by Catherine the Great. The central portraits are of the Zubov husband and wife. In the top row are Natalia Alexandrovna's parents and grandparents; the portrait of her father in the top left corner is based on his famous portrait by Johann Heinrich Schmidt (1757-1821) circa 1800. The other family members represented are Count Nikolai Alexandrovich's father in the lower right corner, the couple's eldest brothers and their sons. The portraits were once in the collection of Eugene Lyons, who was one of the first American correspondents to report from the Soviet Union. From 1923 to 1927 he worked for the official Soviet news agency TASS and became the first foreign correspondent to obtain an interview with Stalin after his rise to power.